The Pig, or Václav Havel’s Hunt for a Pig. 3LD Art & Technology Center (see Off-Off Broadway). By Václav Havel and Vladimír Morávek. Adapted by Edward Einhorn. Directed by Henry Akona. With ensemble cast. Running time: 1hr 10mins. No intermission.
The Pig, or Václav Havel’s Hunt for a Pig: In brief
Henry Akona directs Edward Einhorn's adaptation of a Czech play by Václav Havel and Vladimír Morávek, in which Havel tries to bring home the bacon for a group of fellow dissidents. Food from the restaurant Korzo and songs from Smetana's The Bartered Bride are also on the menu.
The Pig, or Václav Havel’s Hunt for a Pig: Review by Helen Shaw
Playwright-dissident-saint Václav Havel wrote The Pig—an anecdote about an actual attempt to supply a pig roast—in 1987. Pre–Velvet Revolution, the master’s wily-villager fragment read as sub-rosa commentary; now it seems vanishingly minor. Undaunted, Czech director Vladimír Morávek added in bits of Smetana’s folk opera The Bartered Bride in 2010; padding still further, Henry Akona turned it into a laborious multimedia romp.
As live footage (with CNN-type crawl) wraps around 3LD’s walls, a dim-bulb American journalist (Katherine Boynton) tries to get Havel (Robert Honeywell) to unpack the tale of the titular porker. A confusion of instrumentalist-performers mills around Havel or joins us at our tables; they’re palpably joyful, so despite the piece’s baffling inertia, they cheer themselves on. Postshow, actors jam on Velvet Underground songs, and Honeywell’s serious-faced glockenspiel for “Sunday Morning” almost rescues the evening. Those who swoon at Havel’s mere mention may get a contact high from the love in the room; others—pestered by that damned Bartered Bride melody—will need the (thoughtfully provided) beers to get buzzed.—Theater review by Helen Shaw
THE BOTTOM LINE Too much hamming around makes for an unsatisfying meal.